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Canning question! help!

If the lid stays down after you press it, it's sealed. You can test the seals by tapping the lids and listening for the difference in sound. The ones that didn't seal may have had a smear of jam between the lid and the jar. You can process these again. Empty the jam into a saucepan and reheat. Clean and sterilize the jars. Discard the original lids. Leave at least 1/4-inch of air space at the top. Fill and seal the jars, making sure the lips of the jars are spotless, and re-process in boiling water. If you still have some that don't seal, use them first or put them in the freezer.

May 08, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Dried versus fresh herbs and spices: when do you favor the former or the latter?

Except for parsley and cilantro, which I always use fresh, I generally prefer dried herbs. I grow my own so I have access to fresh herbs in the summer, but when frost is predicted, I pull the plants and allow them to dry naturally before stripping them and bagging them for winter use. The dried ones have a more concentrated flavor. (Of course, pesto and Margherita pizza require fresh basil, but I'm not big on either one.)

May 02, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

COLD VEGETABLE & PASTA/GRAIN SALAD! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (May 2015)

I would like to perfect a wild rice salad. I'll let you know if I come close.

What's your favorite vegetarian pasta recipe?

Diced onions, red and green bell peppers and garlic, sauteed until transparent. Add can of favorite tomatoes, 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning and 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers. Simmer while the pasta cooks -- I like farfalle -- add pasta to sauce when cooked and drained; toss lightly. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parm or vegan nutritional yeast and chopped flat parsley.

Apr 22, 2015
elegraph in Vegetarian & Vegan

Book/website recommendations? Meal planning for two

For meal planning, I get a lot of ideas and recipes from http://www.eatingwell.com/

I also get their monthly magazine on my Kindle so I can read up on seasonal items and plan accordingly.

My weekly meal planning might include a roast chicken with the carcass and leftover meat used in a soup the next night. You can portion and freeze the soup that's left. Other meals that week might include pork or beef, fish or seafood, always a meatless meal, and possibly another supper using any leftovers.

If you don't like dealing with leftovers, learn to cut down recipes according to your appetites, which you will discover in time. In my family, many recipes for 4 servings will only make enough for 2 or 3 servings.

Always shop with a list. Every week my list evolves, beginning on Sunday or Monday with an online review of my store's weekly ad and coupons. By Thursday I have a general meal plan and list ready for my shopping trip.

When it comes to vegetables, use up the most perishable first. That means cilantro before the snap peas, zucchini before carrots, and so on. Vegetables, unlike fruit, begin to decay as soon as they are picked so use them at their freshest. Root vegetables last the longest so I always have potatoes, onions and carrots on hand. Other vegetables should be stored in your crisper and not washed or cut until you are ready to use them. A lot of leftover vegetables can be quick-pickled to extend their life (not just cukes but peppers, radishes, and just about anything.

)

Best of luck!

Apr 20, 2015
elegraph in General Topics
1

How do you pronounce "berebere" and what is it used for?

Thank you for your responses!

Apr 18, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

How do you pronounce "berebere" and what is it used for?

I made up a jar of the spice mix but I don't recall what it is for.

Apr 17, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Complain or Shut Up?

Kaleo, it sounds to me like you have an issue related to "truth in advertising." Restaurants have an obligation to deliver as advertised. Everything about your experience was contrary to your expectations. And that's exactly what I would have told the owner/manager before I left the premises.

My philosophy is to complain to the right person at the right time in the belief that the people who have the most at stake truly want to know when they miss the mark. I hope if this happens to you again that you will speak up without hesitation.

Apr 13, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Complain or Shut Up?

There are ways to complain that will not stress out the people you are dining with. If the kitchen can do something to improve your meal, you should give them the chance to do so.

Frankly, when dining out, I have far more issues with poor service than I do with the quality of the food. But that could be another thread.

Apr 13, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Complain or Shut Up?

In the interest of full dislosure, my husband and I own an independent full-service restaurant.

As an owner, if we have made a mistake, overcooked an item and then served it, or delivered something different than described on the menu, I definitely want to hear about it in time to make it right. The servers are there to answer any questions you may have about preparation, ingredients, etc. when you place your order. They return to your table soon after you start your meal so if something is not right, they can take steps to correct it.

I understand and respect your reluctance to embarrass your host; however, I think it's pretty unfair to make your complaints via social media after swallowing your dissatisfaction at the table. Giving the owner a chance to respond to your complaints on the website is a cop-out. What can she possibly say or do at that point to mitigate your disappointment? The time to speak up was when the server asked. If you chose to stay silent then, you should remain silent now.

Watery marinara sauce w fresh tomatoes

Your recipe sounds fine. The water is coming from the interior of the tomatoes. After you slice them in half, squeeze out the juice and seeds (discard unless you make your own veggie stock.) The remaining tomato pulp will not separate. Slice it and dice it and add it to your sauce. And 30 minutes should be adequate for cooking the sauce, you just want to cook out the raw tomato flavor.

Apr 12, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Changing Eating Habits b/c of Foodborne Illness Risk

I don't know what dietary changes you could make that would decrease the risk of foodborne illness. All foods need to be handled and stored properly.

Apr 06, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Potato salad: how many pounds of potatoes for 35 people?!

For 35 3-ounce servings you would need about 6.5 lbs. of potatoes. I think 5 lbs. is a little light, even with a lot of other food.

Apr 01, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Hey, expat Canadians (or Wisconsinoids)...where do YOU buy cheese curds online for delivery in, say, California (or other equidistant locations)?

I'm in Wisconsin and regularly send gift boxes of cheese to my son and his wife in San Fran. We also stop and shop here on the way home from trips to the Twin Cities. I highly recommend them.

https://www.burnettdairy.com/

Also, if you want squeaky curds, warm them in the microwave 5-10 seconds before you eat them. Or try coating them in tempura batter and deep frying them.

Apr 01, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I don't know if you are a woman, but I am, and I've experienced the same treatment more than once, and not just in restaurants. I was in Boston on business and the hotel offered a Happy Hour with free snacks. I sat at a table and had a small plate of snacks with my glass of white wine. I tried to order a second glass of wine at the bar and the tender ignored me completely until a fellow sitting at the bar intervened and asked him to take my order. It was humiliating.

RitzChef's 2015 Easter Menu for home

Can I come? Right after we cook 150-200 breakfasts to order at our restaurant. There will be no Easter dinner at our house unless someone brings it to us. Same with Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, etc. etc. It's surprising how sick of eating one can get working with food all day.

Mar 28, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I don't hold a grudge because, like all of us, restaurants have an occasional bad day. I'll give them a second chance before giving up on them. As a restaurant owner, I hope our customers will also give us a second chance if we fall down on the job.

Mar 27, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

best website to order braunschweiger/liverwurst (organ meat sausages, etc.) from?

BobB, Thanks for linking to another great site! We love applewood smoked bacon.

bloodboy, according to Neuske's About Us page, "We still import our spices and blend them by hand. We still insist on using the leanest meat. We refuse to use any binders, fillers or extenders. We don't "hide" fat by emulsifying it. "No water added" means just tender, moist meat, leaving texture and flavor as they're meant to be." Sounds like pretty good ingredients to me!

Mayor, Stigimeier site also looks promising. Would like to challenge your "most authentic German sausages" claim, however, Wisconsin has a large German population which brought their sausage- and beer-making skills from the homeland. These are also authentic German sausages. But I'm Irish, so just sayin'.

best website to order braunschweiger/liverwurst (organ meat sausages, etc.) from?

I can't attest to mail-order sources because we can buy this at any grocery store. However: You can't go wrong with Wisconsin sausage makers. Here we like:

http://www.jonesdairyfarm.com/product...

http://www.usinger.com/deli/liver-sau...

Others:

http://www.delidirect.com/deli-meats-...

http://www.renardscheese.com/braunsch...

I would not assume that more expensive = better quality. You may just have to try some and see if it meets your expectations. Hope you find your preferred source!

Mar 26, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Additional charges that seem unjustified that the establishment might think twice about

"a pickle add-on should be factored into the base price"

I agree with you and that's what we do at our restaurant. To charge extra for every condiment would drive our staff and our customers crazy. We offer so many extras that I add a certain amount to every meal cost when determining the menu price. I'm sure places like Subway do the same.

I just wanted to point out that a lot more goes into the menu price than the cost of the raw materials. When a restaurant charges for these extras, their cost is not figured into their menu price, and they have to make up for it somehow.

Mar 25, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

Yes, it does, but it's a fact of life. Some people fear commitment.

I can only host 8 people for a sit-down so I will check back with them until I get a definite yes or no. Otherwise I put out a buffet and assume there will be no-shows. How much food you put out depends on how many dishes you want to serve. A buffet does make it easier to plan some items for special needs guests. I've found that most people eat less than I expect and I always have food left over. It helps if most of the items I serve can be frozen if I can't use the leftovers right away.

Mar 25, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Brunch potluck where all the brunch basics are covered...

That issue of Saveur (#150) is my all-time favorite. There are so many wonderful recipes in there that I still haven't tried them all. I will be making this one soon!

Mar 25, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking
1

Lent, No Meat Lunch for Teen Boys

First, skip the broccoli in mac & cheese; it would be "under-appreciated" by this group. With a green salad and chips as sides, you need something sweet or a dessert. Can't go wrong with chocolate brownies.

Mar 24, 2015
elegraph in Vegetarian & Vegan

Additional charges that seem unjustified that the establishment might think twice about

No, the break even price would be 45 to 60 cents. The amount over the 15 cent pickle cost is to cover labor costs, taxes, rent, utilities, advertising, equipment repairs and so on. The profit doesn't start until all of the expenses are covered.

Mar 23, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Additional charges that seem unjustified that the establishment might think twice about

If you ask for something extra, how can an additional charge be unjustified? And how can YOU justify expecting the extras to be free?

For most establishments, food costs are 1/3 to 1/4 of the total expenses, so a pickle spear that costs the restaurant 15 cents will need to be charged at 45 to 60 cents just to break even.

Since the restaurant is charging for extras, you are not paying for these in the price of the sandwich. Would you feel better about paying more for your sandwich to cover the cost of extras you might not need?

Mar 22, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Is it safe to let my chicken stock simmer on the stove overnight while I sleep?

Seven children in New York died in a fire traced to a malfunctioning hot plate the other day. I would be very hesitant about leaving my stove on overnight. I'm fairly risk-tolerant but I still wouldn't do it. Get an electric slow cooker if you want to simmer something while you sleep. Just me, sayin'.

Mar 22, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Food and Sociology Research Paper Topics

I would research and write about so-called food deserts... places both urban and rural that do not have ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables or full-service supermarkets. Generally these are high-poverty areas, so you have a class issue. Culturally, these food deserts contribute to obesity and diabetes, which are endemic among Native Americans, for example, so you have a cultural issue as well. How can we better serve these low-income populations to prevent hunger and other health-related problems?

Mar 21, 2015
elegraph in General Topics
1

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Thanks for the links. I will discuss this with my doctor.

Mar 18, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Good to know!

Mar 18, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Dietary supplements constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry that is not regulated by the FDA. The claims made may or may not be based on scientific research. Consumers need to navigate through a minefield of misinformation to determine what is truly helpful.

I take supplements recommended by my doctor:

Vitamin D3 (tests showed I was deficient)
Fish Oil
Glucosamine

And, based on scientific studies, I take turmeric and ginger supplements.

My D levels have returned to the normal range but the dr. wants me to continue the supplements. I just started glucosamine for arthritis, too early to say if it is helpful. The others are preventative and who knows how effective they are.

I don't eat a well-balanced diet. I avoid milk and milk products, and I eat healthy vegan/vegetarian at least 5 days a week. If you do conscientiously eat a well-balanced diet, you probably don't need vitamins or other supplements.

Look into the scientific studies before you spend good money on supplements, and talk it over with your doctor.

Mar 18, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food